A checklist for good health

checklistgood[1]Staying healthy can really be pretty simple if you make smart choices. Here are a few basic things to do regularly to enjoy a fit life. Call it a checklist for good health:
– Eat a diet that includes servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats
– Consume recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day
– Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
– Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at bedtime
– Take mental health breaks (read the comics, take some deep breaths and think positive)
– Get regular exercise with both cardio and strength training.
– Spend time outdoors
– Maintain a healthy blood pressure (120/80), and keep total cholesterol under 200
– AND don’t forget to get your flu vaccine
On the website www.familiesfightingflu.org it states that the influenza virus, or “the flu” tends to spread from October to May, with a high occurrence January through February. This highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract is often confused with the common cold in its onset. Usually 1-4 days after exposure influenza is often accompanied with fever; headache; extreme tiredness; muscles aches; dry cough; runny or stuffy nose; sore throat; and nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are also common symptoms in children. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated every year. The CDC wants you to keep in mind that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, so get vaccinated before the flu starts spreading in your community. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults. The flu can be especially detrimental for persons with asthma, heart disease or diabetes. Instead of risking illness to obtain immune protection, the CDC states that the safer choice is getting vaccinated. Although some people report having mild reactions to the influenza vaccine, the flu shot cannot cause the flu. Remember, after vaccination our immune response kicks in and it takes approximately two weeks for antibodies to develop to protect our body from the flu. The initial reaction is due to the body’s early immune response to a foreign substance entering the body. Soreness, redness or swelling at the spot where the shot was given, low grade fever and muscle aches may begin soon after the shot was given and typically lasts 1-2 days. These side effects are mild and short-lasting when compared to symptoms of seasonal influenza infection. It just makes sense.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

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